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Subject: Enchanting and character/group balance rss

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Kathrin
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Just curious, how does enchanting affect the balance of different characters and groups? As enchanting permanently enhances abilities of specific classes I could see some problems with the scenario difficulty and players getting stronger than others.

I don't see a problem for the character buying the enchantment as he/she invests resources, but all other characters of this class get a free upgrade. So at some point in the campaign a group with free enchantment upgrades is stronger than a group without free enchantments, but they will have to play at the same scenario difficulty if they have the same level. Will there be something in the rules to adjust the scenario difficulty, when playing with enchanting?

Another concern is that known, older classes might have those enchantings, while new, unlocked classes don't, so that the decision to play a new class would mean playing a weaker class. Is that intended or are unlocked classes stronger from the beginning? Which might cause other problems if one doesn't use enchanting, because it's optional.

Also the balance in a group could change, because players could take enchanted classes to be stronger than others. Will those be able to dominate other players just because they are a little bit stronger?


I definitely like the idea of enchanting and I know that Isaac wrote he is still working on it to balance it out. So those are just my concerns, which I hope are dealt with in the final rules
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Adam Burger
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Some players will be stronger than others regardless of enchanting. Retirement and individual exp gains will make chars progress at different speeds. Enchanting may enhance these differences, or in some cases even them out.

As for balance between different groups, Yes, the group that did not pay for the enchant does get stronger for "free", and will therefor be more likely to succeed in their scenarios. However, there is nothing in the rules that states you "have to" play at any difficulty. If you feel the scenario is not challenging enough you are free to increase the difficulty level to whatever feels appropriate.

As for one player dominating another, I am not entirely sure what you mean. Players are cooperating, mostly, and I'd assume most groups would welcome strong chars to make the scenarios more likely to succeed or allow them to play at a higher difficulty level to earn more exp/loot. I guess in Vs. mode an enchanted char could be potentially stronger than an unenchanted char of the same level. Would depend a bit on the enchant, I'd assume.

But I do have to admit I am a bit surprised at the way enchanting was announced to be implemented. I guess I thought enchantments would be used to enhance gear rather than abilities, and that they wouldn't be exclusively permanent. But I guess i can see how it fits with the permanent sticker philosophy.

For now we just don't really know enough to be sure about much of anything when it comes to enchanting. With a bit of luck Isaac will flesh it out more for us as he works out the details.

/A
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Milo Gertjejansen
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Adamacer wrote:

But I do have to admit I am a bit surprised at the way enchanting was announced to be implemented. I guess I thought enchantments would be used to enhance gear rather then abilities, and that they wouldn't be exclusively permanent. But I guess i can see how it fits with the permanent sticker philosophy.


I found that weird too. For me, I guess I would have named it differently for abilities.. Like.. Not to over use the word, but "Legacy." Where a "Legacy" ability and "Enchanting" are functionally the same, the different names just fit the flavor better. IIRC I don't recall anything in any fantasy setting where upgrading an ability was called "Enchanting."
 
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Kathrin
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Adamacer wrote:
Some players will be stronger than others regardless of enchanting. Retirement and individual exp gains will make chars progress at different speeds. Enchanting may enhance these differences, or in some cases even them out.

True, haven't thought about that, so that eases the problem a little bit.

Adamacer wrote:
As for balance between different groups, Yes, the group that did not pay for the enchant does get stronger for "free", and will therefor be more likely to succeed in their scenarios. However, there is nothing in the rules that states you "have to" play at any difficulty. If you feel the scenario is not challenging enough you are free to increase the difficulty level to whatever feels appropriate.

Even though I am free to decide which difficulty I want to use, I thought the normal difficulty is the standard difficulty suggested by the game. The problem with choosing the difficulty is that I can only adjust it after playing one or more scenarios, after realizing the scenario might have been too easy because of enchanting. Maybe there won't be a problem, but there could be, so I thought I voice my concerns maybe Isaac has already rules for it, who knows.

Adamacer wrote:
As for one player dominating another, I am not entirely sure what you mean. Players are cooperating, mostly, and I'd assume most groups would welcome strong chars to make the scenarios more likely to succeed or allow them to play at a higher difficulty level to earn more exp/loot. I guess in Vs. mode an enchanted char could be potentially stronger than an unenchanted char of the same level. Would depend a bit on the enchant, I'd assume.

Yes it is a coop game, but every character has secret goals and as far as I read in a lot of threads all characters are selfish mercenaries, who try to maximize their profit first. So if a character is stronger than the others, it could be easier to fulfill battle goals or to collect loot etc. Maybe that is also not a big concern, because the group is so diverse and not always on the same experience level.
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Mike Waleke
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miloshot wrote:
Adamacer wrote:

But I do have to admit I am a bit surprised at the way enchanting was announced to be implemented. I guess I thought enchantments would be used to enhance gear rather then abilities, and that they wouldn't be exclusively permanent. But I guess i can see how it fits with the permanent sticker philosophy.


I found that weird too. For me, I guess I would have named it differently for abilities.. Like.. Not to over use the word, but "Legacy." Where a "Legacy" ability and "Enchanting" are functionally the same, the different names just fit the flavor better. IIRC I don't recall anything in any fantasy setting where upgrading an ability was called "Enchanting."


Yeah I also find the word usage slightly confusing, how about Blessing? So the ability would be blessed.
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Milo Gertjejansen
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madmanw wrote:

Yeah I also find the word usage slightly confusing, how about Blessing? So the ability would be blessed.


I am not sure. Blessing, while it fits, it a little too "magic-y" for me. It sort of give the implication that a lot of the world has to do with magic. Even my word was not great though. I was looking for a word that meant "knowledge passed down," since that was it is.

It's like when characters retire they write what they found in a big book and then another character of the same class gets it.. Like some annals or something.

I guess while I am writing this I am thinking of Croaker and his annals from the Black Company. Like a set of records to learn from.
 
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Adam Burger
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Kitarja wrote:

Adamacer wrote:
As for one player dominating another, I am not entirely sure what you mean. Players are cooperating, mostly, and I'd assume most groups would welcome strong chars to make the scenarios more likely to succeed or allow them to play at a higher difficulty level to earn more exp/loot. I guess in Vs. mode an enchanted char could be potentially stronger than an unenchanted char of the same level. Would depend a bit on the enchant, I'd assume.

Yes it is a coop game, but every character has secret goals and as far as I read in a lot of threads all characters are selfish mercenaries, who try to maximize their profit first. So if a character is stronger than the others, it could be easier to fulfill battle goals or to collect loot etc. Maybe that is also not a big concern, because the group is so diverse and not always on the same experience level.


True, it may play out that way, or it may very well be that the stronger char is so much better at killing monsters that it allows other players more freedom in their ability choices, they may be able to loot more or use their exp abilities to better effect. Kindof like scavangers snagging the juicy bits. ninja

But I guess I could see the stronger player having an advantage when it comes to certain battle/Career goals. May be too soon to say for certain how that will effect the rest of the group though.
 
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Adam Burger
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miloshot wrote:
Adamacer wrote:

But I do have to admit I am a bit surprised at the way enchanting was announced to be implemented. I guess I thought enchantments would be used to enhance gear rather then abilities, and that they wouldn't be exclusively permanent. But I guess i can see how it fits with the permanent sticker philosophy.


I found that weird too. For me, I guess I would have named it differently for abilities.. Like.. Not to over use the word, but "Legacy." Where a "Legacy" ability and "Enchanting" are functionally the same, the different names just fit the flavor better. IIRC I don't recall anything in any fantasy setting where upgrading an ability was called "Enchanting."


Perhaps "Enhancing" could work for abilities? Has the benefit of Isaac only having to remove one letter, and changing another.
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Mike Waleke
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miloshot wrote:
madmanw wrote:

Yeah I also find the word usage slightly confusing, how about Blessing? So the ability would be blessed.


I am not sure. Blessing, while it fits, it a little too "magic-y" for me. It sort of give the implication that a lot of the world has to do with magic. Even my word was not great though. I was looking for a word that meant "knowledge passed down," since that was it is.

It's like when characters retire they write what they found in a big book and then another character of the same class gets it.. Like some annals or something.

I guess while I am writing this I am thinking of Croaker and his annals from the Black Company. Like a set of records to learn from.


Hmm that is true, how about Training/Trained?, it would be like someone showing a different way to swing your sword that is slightly more efficient and effective, this new method is so much better it becomes the standard for all future __________ (insert class here)
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Jeff T
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madmanw wrote:

Yeah I also find the word usage slightly confusing, how about Blessing? So the ability would be blessed.


Yeah, enchanting really seems to be a word we already use for equipment in every other game. It is confusing. I agree, blessing is a pretty good word for this. I'd also suggest considering training, leveling, or focus.

As for the mechanism, itself, it may be something I skip. I'll see when I get there. Enchanting the abilities of one class encourages you to play the same character class repeatedly. I think it's more fun to try different classes and master each of them, but I can see how others might just prefer to become the mightiest ______ in the land.

I'm a little concerned that enchanting a class will damage another player's enjoyment of that class, but there's absolutely no reason you have to actually use the enchantments someone else applies if you don't wish to. Simply ignore them and they're gone. And stickering sleeves instead of cards is super easy, given the small number of cards you get to carry in your hand.

Anyway, it's an optional, late-game piece in a long game, so I'm not really going to get too worked up about it either way, no matter what it's called.
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Adam Kazimierczak
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Enchanting people is just strange except in the sense of a charm spell or an illusion. Other words that convey the idea include:

Forgotten Lore or just Lore
Specialization
Guild Secrets (since they are class specific bonuses and each class presumably has a confederation of sorts)

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Isaac Childres
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I am totally open to changing the word "Enchanting." It was something I originally played around with for items, back when items were ability cards that went in your ability deck, so "Enchanting" made more sense. It sort of stuck with me, and I could never really think of a better word when it was changed to non-item ability cards.

I like the idea of a guild, as that would make more thematic sense for all iterations of the class receiving the bonus.
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Matt Mason
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Cephalofair wrote:
I am totally open to changing the word "Enchanting."


I love the mechanic and don't really take issue with the term "enchanting". If we really have to change it, then we could consider terms such as "ability enhancement" (sounds a bit sci-fi to me) or "advanced training".
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Dennis Schwarz
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Maybe "proficient", "expert" or "adept" could work as terms for the ability itself, while in Town it would require the character to pay for training.

I really like the idea of this mechanic very much, as it provides a subtle but effective and versatile way to enhance your character!

I am still on the fence, though, regarding making it permanent, since I don't really like that it affects all characters of this class...this could lead to some serious power creep when the class is played in more than one group (and it gets worse when more people share the costs of paying for more enhancements throughout those groups).

While I know that the difficulty could just be ramped up, it would feel like house ruling the game while playtesting it if those changes are enough and I'd rather like that the game is balanced as is...

Well, maybe I'll just double sleeve the cards afterall, since it would be a shame to play without this
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Jared
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I like the term Enchanting for upgrades. In a fantasy setting Enchanting is the preeminent form of enhancing stats, passives, cooldowns, etc. It is typically applied to items to do so. In this case, "enchanting" is being applied to the cards but thematically it's not a stretch to imagine that your bow, sword, gloves, boots, etc. are what have been enchanted, thus granting the stat/ability bonus.

I think this could be tied in stronger with Bow/Sword, Chest piece, and Boot Icons. For instance, an ability that lets you move +1 would have a tiny boot icon instead of a dot where the upgrade is applied. If your crossbow shot can now pierce or do ice damage on a card that would be shown with the bow icon.

I can kind of see something with Guild Training, Combat Mastery, Proficency or Skill Runes as well.

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Adam Burger
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Neva Kee wrote:
Maybe "proficient", "expert" or "adept" could work as terms for the ability itself, while in Town it would require the character to pay for training.
...snip..


Some nice ideas in this thread. I also like the idea of a Guild to train classes in the use of their abilities. And it seems like there will be multiple options to enhance abilities. You could design it so that abilities have different levels of enhancement. Like Neva suggested, Adept for an ability with 1 enhancement, proficient for an ability with 2 enhancements, expert for 3 enhancements and master for 4 enhancements (don't really know what is the max number of enhancements you can have on any given ability)

And perhaps the guild could be upgraded through unlocking scenarios/prosperity/event/etc. At first it may only allow one enhancement of an ability but allow more enhancements as you progress.

There could also be something similar for gear, Armorer, weapon smith, alchemist etc who can do similar things for gear.

Just some random thoughts.

/A
 
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aron craig
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Guilding might work, hits on two levels - reference to the idea of guilds, which I also think works pretty well thematically and you're kinda 'guilding' the cards when you sticker them.
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J Kaemmer
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Enchanting IS a weird word for abilities... maybe Enhancing, Training, , or Awakening.

Techniques are abstracts, enchanting seems to imply a physical focus. just my 2 cents.
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Milo Gertjejansen
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aroncraig wrote:
'guilding'


"Gilding." FTFY.

Also, I like guilds too. It sort of gives a sense of camaraderie between each character class too, which is always nice.
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aron craig
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miloshot wrote:
aroncraig wrote:
'guilding'


"Gilding." FTFY.

Also, I like guilds too. It sort of gives a sense of camaraderie between each character class too, which is always nice.


I intentionally spelled it Guilding to bridge between the two concepts. =)
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Dustin Crenshaw
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How about talents? That's what they are called in several RPGs.
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Milo Gertjejansen
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aroncraig wrote:

I intentionally spelled it Guilding to bridge between the two concepts. =)


I guess I missed that..
 
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Jonas Vanschooren
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So far of the suggestions I like "training" the most, that feels like the most thematic.
Or rather "training" in town to "enhance" your abilities.

 
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Vandros
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You go to the town guild hall for training.
 
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Steve Z
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I think that "Enchanting" can be changed into "Evolution"

The hole class gets better... so when you compare this to a craftsman, he gets better and better over the time (usally).

So its a nativ evolution.

From the thematic part, why you should pay for this, I am not really sure, may be the "apprenticeship" gets more expensive or the "guild" need to buy new euipment for everyone.

BR Stefan

Vote Evolution - Guild - Apprenticeship ^^
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